For a while now, Brooklyn-based illustrator Leah Reena Goren has caused waves due to her cat-influenced prints on tees, scarves and totes. In between working on her zine, Sad Girls and producing limited edition patterns for Anthropologie, however, Goren—who happens to share a studio with fellow artist and recent CH video subject Rachel Levit—has also produced some pretty unique ceramics that are equally eye-catching. Because she’s first and foremost an illustrator, Goren plays with patterns and colors that aren’t typical of the medium, resulting in flat cat dishes, rose-patterned cups (evoking vintage carpet bags), 3D heads sticking out of vases, bikini babe figurines and much more.
Goren started making ceramics around two years ago—her mother, an art teacher, has a kiln in her classroom but Goren only began taking advantage of it recently, enjoying it enough to take classes in NYC. “Since my commercial illustration work is mostly 2D and then put onto products [or] 3D surfaces by clients, it feels really good to make a solid, functional piece on my own,” Goren tells CH.
She continues, “I do work in textiles a lot for my shop, but there’s something more satisfying about how tangible and lasting ceramics feel. I like to try and translate the style of my illustration and surface pattern (cats and flowers mostly!) into the medium, which can be challenging because there are a lot of limitations with painting in multiple colors, fine detail, etc. I do sell most of what I make, but I try to keep it just for fun—it’s a nice break from client work so I don’t think I’d ever call myself a professional ceramicist. Most pieces are one of a kind for the same reason: I always want to try new things and not get bored!”
While about half of the designs are sold out due to their one-of-a-kind nature, you can snag what’s available by visiting Goren’s online shop, where pieces range in price from $40 up to $250.
Images courtesy of the designer